From the halls of power in Washington D.C. to international centers of urban poverty, this Messiah alum expertly blends education, experience, and Christian faith to bridge the gap between public sector groups and faith-based organizations.
From her earliest days at Messiah College, Amy Sherman ′87 understood that all aspects of her life would be shaped by her Christian views. “I appreciated Messiah’s emphasis on cultivating a world and life view, of understanding that my faith was to affect every sphere of my life,” she said.
Now, one of Amy’s roles as the director of the Center on Faith in Communities (http://www.centeronfic.org/v2/index.html) is to promote “common good” partnerships between faith-based organizations and public sector groups. The team has uncovered more than 600 examples of such collaborations through the Center’s “Partners in Transformation” program. In Alabama, for example, a congregation partnered with an elementary school in a low-income community to transform the school’s abandoned gymnasium into a state-of-the-art science center. In Fresno, an ongoing ministry connects former gang members to new jobs-and a new lease on life-through partnerships with over 300 local businesses.
Amy, who earned her doctorate in foreign affairs/economic development from the University of Virginia, believes these kinds of initiatives not only dramatically improve the lives of countless disenfranchised Americans, but also give the public sector a chance to see Christians as producers instead of preachers. “As Christians we need to be known more for what we are for—instead of just what we are against,” she emphasizes.
Stewarding Your Power for the Micah 6:8 Life, Amy’s tentatively titled sixth book and a work in progress, will offer Biblical guidelines and inspiring stories to encourage professionals to gain a new and bigger vision for integrating faith, justice, and mercy at work. “We need to harness our power—education, money, credit, social networks—for the common good,” she says. “We need to think creatively about how to use our vocational talents, networks, and influences to better serve our communities.”
As a noted public policy professional and author of numerous books and articles on community development, Amy has served as an advisor to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, provided expert testimony at Congressional hearings, and authored several publishing firsts on welfare reform law, faith-based initiatives, Charitable Choice, and the largest national survey of Hispanic church-based community ministries in the United States.
Posted on April 23rd, 2008